After a month of high-quality football throughout the continent, England and Italy will battle in London for the Euro 2020 crown. The game starts at 21:00 CET.
England haven’t won a major trophy since 1966, when they lifted the World Cup at the old Wembley, also on home soil. The English had no luck at the Euros throughout their history, only reaching third place in 1968 and playing the semi-finals again at home in 1996. On the other hand, Italy won the continental prize in 1968 and played two more finals in 2000 and 2012. The Italians are four-time world champions (1934, 1938, 1982, and 2006).
— OGCOM (@OGambling) July 11, 2021
Southgate: ‘When we started, we had people throwing paper airplanes’
Talking to the media ahead of the final, England manager Gareth Southgate insisted on the key role the fans will be playing for the outcome of the final. The coach underlined the transformation which took place in the way people perceive their support for the national team. An estimated crowd of 65,000 will be allowed in at Wembley for the big clash between England and Italy. According to Italian paper Gazzetta dello Sport, around 7,000 will be Italian.
“When we started, we had people throwing paper airplanes, they weren’t behind the team and there was an apathy,” Southgate said. “Now there’s a fantastic energy in the stadium and that’s fantastic. It’s so important for us. The players need to feel that warmth and support. It had definitely helped inspire us.”
“Over the last four years the players have knocked down so many barriers, they’ve come through so many different challenges,” Southgate argued.
Part of the Wembley public booed Germany and Denmark’s anthems before their games in the previous rounds. Southgate asked for ‘respect’ for the Italian anthem ahead of the final.
“It’s important that our fans respect the opposition. We know that in fact when we play abroad and fans boo our anthem, it probably inspires us even more. We should be respectful,” the England coach said.
— England (@England) July 11, 2021
Mancini: ‘I’m not agitated, we need to stay calm’
Italy boss Roberto Mancini said the Euro 2020 final is one of the highlights in his career. Mancini is no stranger to English football, having coached at Manchester City between 2009 and 2013. Mancini won the Premier League title with City in 2012, as well as the FA Cup in 2011 and the Community Shield in 2012.
“I’m not agitated, maybe tomorrow [Sunday] I’ll be more,” Mancini said in his press conference. “This moment will be important for me. I hope to have the success that I did not have as a player for the national team.”
“We have to be calm, we know it will be difficult but we have to be focused on our game. It has to be fun, it’s the last game. We need to perform for 90 minutes. It’s one more effort we need. We hope to have fun and then go on holiday,” Mancini argued.
On the day of the final, Italy celebrates 39 years since they won the World Cup in 1982, at the Bernabeu in Madrid, against West Germany (3-1).
“I hope that the date will be important for the second time for the Italians,” Mancini vowed.
FIVE HOURS TO GO! 😬
— England (@England) July 11, 2021
England’s 11, revealed
Southgate’s tactical plans were put forward by Sky Sports hours before the Euro 2020 final. England will start with a back five, with Kieran Trippier on the right of the defense.
England’s starting 11 for the Euro 2020 final: Pickford, Trippier, Walker, Stones, Maguire, Shaw, Rice, Phillips, Mount, Kane, Sterling
Gazzetta dello Sport reported that Mancini wanted to change tactics himself for the final He considered using a false nine system, but finally decided to start Lazio’s Ciro Immobile upfront.
— Italy ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (@azzurri) July 10, 2021
England is the bookies’ favorite to triumph
The Italians are unbeaten in 33 games (27 wins, 6 draws). They conceded just 10 goals and scored 86 since their fantastic series started, back in October 2018. England’s defense is solid as a rock too. Gareth Southgate’s boys only let a goal past them in the semi-final against Denmark. And it wasn’t from open play, but a fantastic free-kick from Damsgaard which beat Jordan Pickford.
England are favorites to win the game in 90 minutes, at +140, with Italy at +225. A draw that would send the two teams to battle in extra time is at +190. A straight ‘Italy winning the trophy’ option is at +100, with England at -125. A 0-0 draw over the first 90 minutes is at +500, with a minimum 1-0 win for England at +500. Harry Kane shooting on goal at least once in each half is at +300, with Ciro Immobile sending at least one shot on target with his right foot throughout the game at -175. Considering the importance of the game, the Euro 2020 final is a bettor’s dream and curse at the same time.